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Offline agency hinders COVID-19 grant payments

Ga-Seleka: Limpopo COVID-19 social grant recipients have expressed anger and frustration following  the South African Post Office (SAPO) constant offline computer system.

The beneficiary complained that the agency cannot fulfill its task of paying the R350 social grant.

The angry R350 social grant recipient has called the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to find a replacement or ask SAPO to change the payment system.

Officials at the post office confirmed that they are using Telkom Wi-Fi and said that the network is constantly on-off.

“Either the officials reduced the queue, or told us they have used the money up, or the computer is offline. Signs show that our SAPO branch has been overwhelmed by our numbers,” said angry unemployed villagers.

Recipients said that even the new flexible SASSA method, allowing recipients to transfer cash from the post office to a bank account of their choice, would exacerbate the problem because they would have to pay R100 for transportation to Lephalale town to withdraw money.

“First of all, we will have no money for transportation. Even if we borrow money, it doesn’t make sense to go to town, because we will eventually spend all of our money on transportation.”

SASSA’s new payment system means clients now receive their grants at their chosen and convenient outlets.

“For many years, we have been promised a shopping mall, but they haven’t made no progress. Now, it is affecting us. We don’t know what is hindering the development.”

The target population of R350 is unemployed South Africans who have received no other official financial assistance because the country is struggling to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SASSA stated that answers to frequently asked questions about relief funds can be found on the WhatsApp platform at 082 046 8553 or on the SASSA website

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